posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 12:48 PM
Is the development of Nintendo style killing machines the technological path we should be taking?
Yes, because anything we can do to demystify and render pointless man as an 'elite warrior' will make our nationalist love for all things war a
little more pointless for the very reason you state: 'After all, the Japanese build great cars too!'. That said, most fighter sorties are flown 90%
like an airliner (autopilot precision navigation, wings level, purely as a sensor and carriage bus platform) and in those instances when 'pilot
***t' -is- required, it can usually be traced to the simple certainty of his presence and desire for extreme performance (cockpit, gaping inlets,
large empennage, big A2A radar) having compromised his ability to remain undetected and thus unshot at. In ALL the rest of the 'lets bomb helpless
civillians with handweapons' engagement conditions; you are looking at the electronics of a targeting pod and an LGB or IAM 'winning the fight'
_anyway_. Right now. Today.
For all its complaints about WMDs in the hands of others, the US is the leader in the development and use of WMDs. This is just another step in that
This is not Fahrenheit 451. The U.S. will NOT start wars with radiologics of any kind because the backlash (environmentally if nothing else) would be
too great against us. Foolishly or otherwise, we are eliminating our ability to strike with chemical and bio inventories as an alternative. And that
is what _Weapons Of Mass Destruction_ means. Given we are utterly dependent on slave labour from the foreign states most likely to develop atomics of
their own in the next 100 years (if only to fend off the likes of China); I find your argument specious.
Rather hypocritical, wouldn't you say? But then, the hypocrite is blind to his true nature. Of course, this will motivate others to act defen
sively and develop their own distance Nintendo style unmanned killing machines. Folks, these machines will unequivocably NOT serve your interests.
They will serve those who control the joystick. Perhaps the movie "Terminator" was prescient after all.
Don't be stupid. The NINE THOUSAND MILE water barrier that separates the U.S. from the ROW is what protects us from 'conventional' (mechanized,
technologic) attack. And that won't change for a subsonic cruise aircraft whether you have a pilot in it or not. We already have supersonic
unmanned aircraft, they're called ICBM MIRVs.
What WILL change is the dead certainty that by 2015 we will have multiple fieldings of 100KW directed energy weapons which can flash vaporize an
aircraft up to 30-40km away, in just a few seconds of illumination. At least a /few/ nations will also have 1-2MW class weapons in fixed
installations (using UAV 'relays' that are little more than weather balloons with mirrors dangling underneath) or airborne platforms (YABL-1) to
reach out to upwards of 400km.
Thus, when we go into someone else's backyard to make trouble (as we always do in our 'defensive' wars), it won't be a case of laughing as we
cruise above the trashfire floor. It will be choosing between 'flying over every farmer with a Martini-Henry rifle' down in the weeds where there
is a short horizon to protect us. And being visible for a hundred miles in all directions at 50,000ft. To the odd semitractor-sized MTHEL or
NAUTILUS type DEW that we 'just happen to fly sufficiently close to' to cue it's passive optics and acoustics into track.
At that point, it won't be about the team bloodsport nationalism of civillians 'wanting to be' worthless sky knights. And so sponsoring them to
ever more expensive generations of do-everything airframes. It will instead be purely about the MONEY AND TIME required to replace that platform on a
near random basis of encounter with these deadly threats.
UCAVs are the only way forward to maintain the potential of airpower to completely change the dynamic 'lookin, reachin, disrupt the rear area command
and logistics' elements of warfare.
While at the same time being 'riskable' in situations where you will only find the enemy IADS by impaling yourself on his beam-of-light, 2,000
dollar per shot, killing mechanism.
The sadness is that the U.S. is failing as an economic power. We are already about 6th or 7th on the list of industrial output nations. And we are
rapidly urbanizing our precious farmland such that even Brazil has more earth under the till (270 vs. 420 million acres). What this means is that, as
nations and 'coalitions' of federated states become more powerful, under the WTO rules for 'fair trade means butchering the big states subsidy
dominance' we will no longer be able to command access to the cheapest-rate materials and our consumerist hunger will no longer sustain trade due to
the monumental increases in the price of 'getting it here' inherent to rising crude prices among other things.
As such, TODAY is the time we need to worry about. Because our choices TODAY (and all our foolish expenditures on the 257 BILLION dollar F-35 in
particular) is what will probably determine whether we have the money to develop and purchase ONE tactical aircraft, tomorrow.
We will not be able to afford the F-18E/F, the F-22, the F-35 and the JUCAS. It can only be 2 or at most 3 of those programas. And given that the
soonest we will field /any/ of them is 2012. There is simply no reason to make one of those choices anytying but unmanned.
Because Star Wars is HERE. And we have no deflector shields.
$1bn for a unmanned fighter project never knew these things cost so much to kick off the ground I suppose if this unmanned plane is going to help save
lives of air men it's a good thing but I can?t help thinking there so much more room for error if it unmanned.
The nature of something going 'horribly wrong' is inherent to what is called Friction and Uncertainty principles in military science. Too many
things going on in too small an area, too quickly, to separate out all the spatial and causal relationships before the 'fleeting window' of
engagement on time critical targets is gone.
In this, the UCAV supplies another overwhelming advantage in the the specification for the Joint Uninhabited Combat Air System is to be able to fly
out to 1,100nm, tortoise-sit on station for 2hrs and come home. Without refueling and with only HALF the 20,000lbs of internal gas that is wasted on
the 'must go faster!' JSF rabbit.
Why is it wasted? Because if you are leading a squad of infantry down some dark alley, you WILL NOT see the enemy moving into position to kill you,
two blocks over. You WILL NOT see the knee mortar rounds or the RPG lofts from perhaps as much as 10 blocks away. Or the small IED device that
they've left in a doorway with intent to blow the building down as you pass by. Both due to line of sight problems and due to the fact that the prep
work may well have occured /hours/ if not /days/ in advance of some dumb U.S. batallion commander 'getting the word' that he should go investigate
But a UCAV can be overhead (flying as little as 60-100nm from an intra-theater airbase) for 6-10hrs beforehand. And it's downlook oriented FLIR and
highdefinition micro-SAR radar can image people and shapes early enough to relay a 'big picture alert' to that squad leader for "Do you want me to
kill them?!" optioning BEFORE they start to shoot.
This is something which no manned jet can do because the pilot-gotta-pee interval is so short without deadly fatigue setting in and the roughly 5,000
dollar per flight hour (F-16) operating costs are TRIPLE (UCAV = 1,200$:flthr) what is necessary to cover, not just one patrol but ten or twenty at a
With the power of microwave based datalinks in the 'CDL' or common datalink architecture of a 240mpbs throughput system. As well as directional
receivers and complex coded command algorithms, we can securely put a 250lb small smart bomb within about 9.8 inches (EDGE assisted GPS) of a selected
target aimpoint within 20 seconds of called fires. IF the plane is there to do so. And /vastly/ 'closer in' that even an A-10 (75m limit for
gunfire) can achieve on a forces in contact basis
And we can ONLY do this if there is NO man sitting in the cockpit.
Such may sound 'unfun' but war is not a sport. It is not something to admire. Nor is it wise to to admire those who participate in it. While the
notion of an enemy assymetrically (contempt of engagement) attacking our soldiers _on the ground_ before running away is such that, again, ONLY by
adopting a stance that is equally cold and detached can we assure that an insurgent threat is still too frightened of us to 'get a kick' out of
counting coup from /their/ perspective of freebee assassination.
WWII was the last nationalistic gasp of the only true functional purpose of war. To amalgamate societal and strategic resources and control
geopolitical chokepoints of trade. When we determined that a would be conqueror could be held accountable for 'crimes against humanity' inherent to
engaging in such aggressive acts, we replaced the competition of man for national means of profit and security with the use of 'corporate raiding'
to control those same resources via purely commercial ruleset.
As such, ALL combat operations must now be looked at as 'policing' events in which the notional function of the warrior is to constrain the act of
fighting in pursuit of 'prosperity for all'.
That cannot happen if we continue the LOMD principle of seeing these killers and their mounts as an extension of personal combat. Because, just like
a cop in a patrol car, it's not the one you see that makes the system work. It is the 10-20-100 others patrolling /other/ blocks of real estate that
pose the real intimidative threat.
Again, manned airframes (ground vehicles, ships and subs) simply cannot generate the kinds of numbers needed to provide this security. This
mechanical inhibition against dying in a fight against a silicon chip. Only robots can make the act of struggle so cheap that we finally begin to
measure the limits of our lives (20 years to raise up) against the hours it takes to manufacture a purely mechanical force.
At that point, we will FEAR war too much to engage in it for entertainment purposes.
People fear robots, not because of the danger they pose. But because they will force us to cease 'playing' at this juvenile endeavor we call war as
a Darwinistic activity which we are so radically inept and undeserving as biologic creatures to participate in.